Partnership Will Let Crim Put ‘House in Order’ Before Searching for New CEO

By on March 5, 2019

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership board will not begin a search for a new executive director in the immediate future, opting to give interim CEO Rodney Crim more time to stabilize the group in the wake of its former leader’s departure.

“Because of the staffing changes, and some of the positions not being renewed, it’s also, I think, we’ve kind of thought that we’re going to let Rodney get our house in order before we were to make any decision about potentially doing a search,” Partnership board chair Karlos Ramirez said at the group’s regular meeting Wednesday. “I think we put our best foot forward a lot better when our house is in order. So, I think that Rodney’s definitely taken the bull by the horns, and I think that everybody feels, at least I believe, my sense is, that everybody’s feeling much more included and much better with his leadership and what we’re doing moving forward.”

Crim took over last month at the economic development agency that was established to represent St. Louis and St. Louis County after its former CEO Sheila Sweeney was forced out. Her three-year tenure was marked with high staff turnover, low morale and political influence from St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s office, according to former staffers.

Crim, the former chief of the city’s economic development arm, moved to the Partnership when it was formed in 2013, though his role and responsibilities were mostly behind-the-scenes in recent years.

Since taking the helm, Crim has formed board committees to examine hiring and compensation policies, real estate transactions and other internal controls. He said he has started sending biweekly reports on the Partnership to the board and the County Council.

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